Posted Online: March 15, 2013, 2:30 am

Friendship Manor's new villas a hot commodity

Comment on this story

By Leon Lagerstam,

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
Friendship Manor president and CEO Ted Pappas Jr., marketing director Pam Myers and development director Jeff Condit hold an artist's rendering of the new independent living villas that have been approved to be built on the facility's property in Rock Island. Ten independent living villas, costing $2.25 million, will be constructed directly south of the current Friendship Manor building.
ROCK ISLAND -- It almost sounds like plans for a land-based cruise liner named the "Friend-Ship."

And half the "cabins" have been booked before the "ship's" even been built, according to executives at Friendship Manor, a nonprofit, faith-based continuing-care retirement community at 1209 21st Ave.

After plans for Friendship Place, a $2.25 million senior villa community, were announced in December, "we made a private offering to a small group of people, and have had five of the 10 villas already spoken for,"president and CEO Ted Pappas Jr. said.

Residents of the independent-living rental properties will have access to all amenities and services Friendship Manor provides, he said.

"That means they will have access to the bank, fitness center, our bistro, our bus to take them to area events and other amenities, just like you'd see on a cruise ship," marketing director Pam Myers said.

Rental costs have increased by $200 since the December announcement, Mr. Pappas said, adding that monthly rent now will be $2,700, all inclusive.The new villas will be in a private, fenced, but not gated, cul-de-sac.

Construction of the development, targeting a 70- to 80-year old demographic, will start this spring and be finished by early winter, Mr. Pappas said.

It will require tearing down two homes near the intersection of 21st Avenue and 12th Street, adjacent to Friendship Manor.

Development director Jeff Condit said the 10-unit plan is Phase I, and will include three ranch-style duplexes and a four-plex. If demand merits, a three-plex would be added in a second phase, he said.

Each unit will have two bedrooms, two baths, patios, appliances and a one- or two-car garage. Square-footage, depending on the garage size, will be 1,126 or 1,228.

Prospective residents can enroll in a "Friendship Club" for $500, and get first-choice of villas based on the date club fees -- which go to the first month's rent -- are received.

Friendship Manor also is in the midst of converting one of its existing buildings into a group home for people with intellectual or developmental challenges, Mr. Pappas said. The six-unit structure is expected to open in May, "and all the units have been spoken for already," he said.

The group home makes it easier for older parents of people intellectually or developmentally challenged to stay close, Mr. Condit said.

"We're increasing our ministry and service to the community," he said. "Building these is not just a good business venture for us and for Rock Island, but it's an addition to a continuum of our services on the cusp of an explosion of our senior population in the area."

Friendship Manor sits on 14 acres of land and offers independent and assisted-living apartments, in addition to the Silver Cross Health and Rehabilitation Pavilion, and an indoor "Main Street" attraction.

For the third year in a row, its Silver Cross pavilion received a five-star ranking in the U.S. News and World Report's annual Best Nursing Homes.

Features, services at planned Friendship Place Villas
--Villa and ground maintenance
--10 meals at Friendship Manor per month
--Bi-weekly housekeeping
--Appliances: stove, refrigerator, microwave, garbage disposal, washer, dryer
--Garage and patio
--Transportation to local doctors, shopping, banks, cultural learning centers
--Sewer and water
--Satellite television
--Utilities except for phone and Internet
--snow and trash removal
--individual mailboxes
--Other amenities at Friendship Manor, including enrichment activities, fitness center, branch bank, chapel and pastoral care, craft and hobby room, convenience and gift shop, card room, woodworking shop, monthly blood pressure clinics; library with online computers and free Internet access, private dining room for special parties, and a wellness room.